This is Lead Week on this blog.
It’s pretty awful that Defra has not come to any decision on lead ammunition which is a source of poison in our foods and our environment, but it is scandalous that it has not made the report of the Lead Ammunition Group public after receiving it almost eight months ago.
The findings of the report are clear but the evidence on which it is based, and the full report, have not been made public.
The members of the Lead Ammunition Group should by now be considering publishing their full report elsewhere in order that it is in the public domain. I’d be happy to have it here for example.
The debate on lead ammunition is underway and has been for years. It is unacceptable that government takes so long to decide its position but it is scandalous that it fails to publish a report that was produced by a group of experts, working for five years (unpaid) to give government and the people the evidence.
Defra appears to be in the pockets of the shooting industry. We have only to look back to the recent publication of the government Hen Harrier plan, which was not a plan for Hen Harriers but was a plan that pleased the shooting industry (the main enemy of the protected Hen Harrier), to see that Defra is incredibly nervous of upsetting shooters.
It is right that Defra thinks hard about what it will do to address the environmental and health aspects of lead ammunition – but it is time that they tell us when their thinking will stop and action will begin.
However, it is long past time for Defra to publish the report of the Lead Ammunition Group. Every moment further delay is unacceptable and suspicious. What exactly are we waiting for? Liz Truss should be ashamed of keeping the public in the dark about the impacts of lead ammunition on human health and environmental health. Why does she not come clean and publish the evidence?